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Johnson motivated by 2016 failure as he guns for FedExCup crown

Sep 6, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Dustin Johnson putts for birdie on the 9th green during the third round of the Tour Championship golf tournament at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Dustin Johnson said his missed opportunity to seal the FedExCup championship in 2016 will drive him on when he tees off in the final round of the season-ending Tour Championship on Monday.

Johnson shot his best round of the tournament on Sunday with a third-round 64 to sit five shots clear of the field as he guns for $15 million in prize money and the missing piece to his resume.

The 36-year-old would have been crowned FedExCup champion four years ago if Rory McIlroy had not pipped Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore in the three-man playoff at the Tour Championship. Johnson said that disappointment would serve as motivation.

“Yeah ... to be the FedExCup champion is something I want to do. It’s something that I want on my resume when I quit playing golf. It means a lot to me. I do want to win this tournament,” Johnson told reporters.

“I had a chance to win it a few years ago. Not really in control of that one, so it’s a little bit different. I didn’t play well ... I couldn’t control winning by my golf. I was pulling hard for Kevin Chappell.

“Tomorrow I do. I control my destiny. I need to go out and play like I did today. I’m swinging good. I’ve got a lot of confidence in the game.”

Fellow American Xander Schauffele, who was second after a round of 67, said that it would be “almost impossible” to catch an in-form Johnson on the final day.

“I can try and influence him, which he probably won’t really care about,” Schauffele added.

“If I birdie the first three holes it’s not going to faze him. It’s DJ. We’ve seen him do it for 20 plus years now, and I just have to try and be better.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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